Why is orthodontics important?
An attractive smile and improved self-image is just one of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Alleviating and preventing physical health problems is just as important. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.
Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Will braces hurt?
Most orthodontic patients experience some discomfort the first week after their braces are put on, and right after the braces are tightened. You can use Tylenol or Advil to ease the discomfort.
At what age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
The general assumption is to wait to see an orthodontist until a child has all the permanent teeth. However, sometimes treatment would have been much easier if started earlier. In fact, some treatment options become lost once the jaw growth has slowed. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age 7.
What is early interceptive or Phase I treatment?
The goal of early interceptive or Phase I treatment is to correct moderate to severe orthodontic problems early. Some common problems that may require early treatment are crowding, excessive spacing, "buck" teeth, gummy smiles, overbites, underbites, crossbites and openbites. When early treatment is called for, it can result in a number of benefits such as improved dental arch width, prevention of permanent teeth extraction, a reduction or elimination of the need for jaw surgery, a lower risk of trauma to "buck" teeth and the correction of harmful oral habits. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening by age 7.
Does everyone need Phase I treatment?
Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. All others can wait until most or all of their permanent teeth erupt. An orthodontic screening exam can determine if Phase I is necessary for your child.
If my child has early treatment, will additional treatment be necessary?
In most cases, yes. After the permanent teeth have erupted, treatment is usually necessary to complete the work that was started in the earlier phase. The objective is to position the permanent teeth in optimal function, comfort, esthetics and long-term stability. This stage is called Phase II treatment and involves full braces.
How long will I have to undergo orthodontic treatment?
The time needed to undergo orthodontic treatment will vary for each patient and always depends on how much your jaw needs to change and how far your teeth must move. We are committed to making your treatment as swift and effective as possible.
Will I still be able to play sports?
Yes. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable and come in an exciting variety of colors and patterns.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.
Are retainers necessary and how long will I have to wear one?
A retainer is a device worn full or part-time after braces have been removed. The retainer is designed to prevent your teeth from drifting or moving while the bone around your teeth hardens and stabilizes. The longer you wear your retainer, the better your chances that your teeth will not relapse. Retainers provide assurance that your teeth will stay in perfect alignment while your jaw continues to grow or develop.
Am I too old for orthodontics?
About 25% of orthodontic patients today are adults. Many adults are correcting problems that were never treated when they were children, and can now experience the satisfaction of a perfect smile.
What is TMJ?
TMJ Dysfunction is a condition of the jaw that occurs when the Temporo Mandibular Joint is misaligned or malfunctioning in a way that subjects the joint to excess pressure. TMJ can seriously affect how your mouth works and often includes side-effects such as blocked nasal passages, neck pain, headaches and difficulty chewing.
What is a malocclusion?
The technical term for teeth that do not fit together correctly is 'malocclusion'. Most malocclusions are inherited, however, it is possible to acquire a bad bite from habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. The premature loss of baby teeth or the extraction of adult teeth can cause the development of a malocclusion. Inherited malocclusions are usually caused by difference between the size of the teeth and the size of the jaw structure. Whether inherited or acquired, malocclusions affect not only the alignment of the teeth, but also the appearance of the face.
How much will it cost?
Costs vary depending on the type of treatment. Today many dental policies include orthodontic benefits making orthodontic fees more affordable than ever before.